We realize that many experienced keepers of this genus may have a different view, so the following are recommendations that continue to work for us and have been proven extremely effective with years of trial and error.
WHAT IS THE MINIMUM RECOMMENDED ENCLOSURE SIZE FOR GECKOS SPECIES IN THE GENUS LYGODACTYLUS?
Size your enclosure appropriately depending on whether you are keeping one or more juveniles, a single adult or a breeding pair:
- For a single adult the minimum recommended enclosure size is: 12”x12”x18”.
- For a breeding pair the minimum recommended enclosure size is: 16”x16”x24”.
- For multiple juveniles, the minimum recommended enclosure size is: 12”x12”x18”.
- For a single juvenile, the minimum recommended enclosure size is: 12”x12”x12”.
WHAT SHOULD YOU USE TO COVER THE ENCLOSURE?
In the wild, many Lygodactylus species reside in temperate deciduous forests. Temperate forests are considered the second-rainiest biome. Therefore, this species does best with a bit of humidity, which is important for them. To dry or conditions that are too wet can cause respiratory infections, skin ulcers, issues with shedding and in the worse cases, even death. It is therefore NOT advisable to use any solid materials like Glass or Acrylic Sheets which completely block air circulation. Instead, use a screen top to allow for good airflow inside the enclosure. This will ensure that the environment doesn't become too stagnant. A well-ventilated top along with an automated misting system is the recommended way to introduce humidity into the enclosure.
SHOULD I SET UP A BIO-ACTIVE OR A STERILE DISPLAY ENCLOSURE?
Most bio-active enclosures are also usually naturalistic displays or centerpieces for all to view. While beautiful to look at, this type of setup would require a lot more work to maintain. The alternative is a sterile environment composed of man-made materials. This setup should still provide ample hiding and basking spots as well as Habitat Décor. Sterile display enclosures allow for fast and easy maintenance and are very popular for those looking to keep and breed multiple animals housed in multiple enclosures.
WHAT TYPE OF LIGHTING DOES MY GECKO NEED?
There are three essential types of lighting that important to this species, they are:
- Lights that produce heat such as a 25w halogen puck light, which is placed above basking sites.
- Lights that provide UV-B and UV-A like the Arcadia Reptile T5 and T8 fluorescent tubes range from 6% to 10% intensity. This area of the light spectrum is used by your gecko to help synthesize Vitamin D3. In the wild the sun produces these wave lengths naturally, but in captivity UVB can be offered through these types of lighting.
- LED Lights that produce daylight ranging between 5000 kelvin and 7000 kelvin are very important for your gecko to help regulate its brain’s circadian (daily) and circannual (yearly) rhythms. As a secondary benefit, the light spectrum provided at this range also promotes healthy plant growth in Bio-Active enclosures.
WHAT DAY AND NIGHT-TIME TEMPERATURES SHOULD MY GECKOS' ENCLOSURE BE SET TO?
We have excellent results maintaining general daytime temperatures between 78° and 82°degrees Fahrenheit, with a basking site reaching upwards of 90° to 95° degrees Fahrenheit near the top perch. Providing a temperature gradient is key for this cold-blooded species. Your gecko will move up and down this gradient to thermoregulate its internal body temperature throughout the day. Nighttime temperatures should be on average 8° to 10° degrees Fahrenheit cooler.